- Ligue 1
Grenier ends Arsenal speculation
Arsenal target Clement Grenier has ended speculation over his future by signing a two-year contract extension at Lyon.
Lyon had been approached by Arsenal to test the water over the availability of the 22-year-old Grenier, who had just a year left on his previous deal at the Stade de Gerland. And Grenier himself had said he was flattered by interest from the Gunners.
However, the club have repeatedly stated their intention not to sell one of their most promising academy products, and following discussions between the club and the player's representatives on Monday - which initially had not brought agreement - a deal has finally been struck.
"We talked, and as Clement has good people around him and has his head in the right place and his heart with OL, things were finalised quickly," Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas announced to the media on Thursday. "Clement has confirmed his attachment to the club."
The midfielder, who emerged last season as a key part of Remi Garde's squad as he contributed significantly to his club's third-placed finish, won his first senior international cap during France's tour of South America in June.
Grenier's public statements last month, in which he had said he had already decided his future but was unwilling to reveal his choice, had merely served to fuel speculation.
The midfielder insisted, however, it had always been his intention to remain at the Stade de Gerland.
"It was difficult for me to relax on holiday as things hadn't been settled. I found it tough to communicate. In my head, I knew I wanted to stay in Lyon and that it was my priority," Grenier said before expressing his relief that the situation has been resolved before Lyon embark on their Champions League campaign, which starts in the third qualifying round in late July.
"I needed to be psychologically and physically ready to start European competition. This extension is good news for me personally. I've had six good months, but I'm not finished improving."